Tammy Evans said some people were convinced her husband wouldn’t bounce back following a serious stroke at age 31 in summer 2011, but she knew otherwise.
“There were doctors writing him off. He has surprised a lot of people. He is a strong man,” she said of husband, Chad Evans.
The Shelby County couple acknowledges Chad has a ways to go and won’t return fully to his earlier condition, but said he’s made tremendous progress since signing up for treatment at the nonprofit Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development on Garbry Road, Piqua.
Chad Evans had aortic valve replacement in 2004 and was working in a plastic injection molding business in August 2011 when he suffered a stroke. Taken by CareFlight to a Dayton hospital in critical condition, he was in acute care and then inpatient rehabilitation until October 2011.
He described the stroke as “bad,” saying it paralyzed his right side, robbed him for a time of the ability to chew and swallow, attacked his memory and affected his eyes. The couple at the time had a young daughter, Bailey, who’ll be 3 in July, and Tammy was six months pregnant with daughter Sophie, now age 16 months.
Tammy Evans was serving as Chad’s caregiver when she first heard about Piqua’s Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development while returning medical care items to the GIVE medical equipment ministry. The center provides neurodevelopmentally based rehabilitative and educational services to children and adults with various brain-related conditions.
The couple contacted the center before touring it with executive director Carla Bertke. Chad Evans’ insurance covered 20 rehabilitation visits a year at the rehabilitation facility he was visiting.
The nonprofit center’s sliding fee scale made it affordable on the family’s fixed income so Chad began visits in May 2012.
After four months, a doctor from his regular rehabilitation scheduled was impressed by Chad’s progress, Tammy Evans said. “He asked what Chad was doing because he couldn’t believe the progress Chad had made,” she said.
He currently participates in therapy twice a week in the center’s neurodevelopment program, neuroeducational class and neurofeedback training.
The center’s Terry Christy said “significant” described his improvement.
Tammy Evans said Chad’s walking has improved as has his memory and his mood.
“My memory was bad,” Chad Evans said, adding he continues to work and hope for more improvement.
His wife assured him change has been noticeable. “I noticed a big difference in his compassion for us as a family. The neurofeedback has helped him with his mood,” Tammy Evans said.
His balance and walking have improved from a swagger to straight with his eyes closed. Work continues on improving his vision.
The treatment visits give him something to look forward to, Chad Evans said. “I will keep coming here as long as I keep getting better.”
To learn more about the Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development, visit the web at www.rcnd.org or call Bertke at (937) 773-7630. The center also has a Facebook page.